I have recently been made aware of a trend in doggy fashion – dying the fur of your pup. I had never heard of such a thing until it became a recent topic of discussion among Pet Sitters International members in our Facebook forum. Some people said they dye their own dog’s fur and it was just innocent fun; they liked the way it looked. Others decided against it for various reasons or were simply disinterested. Or they were, like me, unaware of it entirely. So I looked it up…
Then, as often happens when we fall down Internet rabbit holes, I came across a story that wasn’t so innocently fun. I clicked on an article about the dangers of using hair color designed for people on pets. This article showed graphic pictures of a little pup named Violet (the owners had, of course, tried to dye her purple) who was suffering from severe skin burns after her owners had used human hair color on her.
Violet’s skin reacted so badly to the chemicals in the dye that whole swaths of skin had been burned away. Her eyes had swollen shut. She wasn’t moving. Her rescuers didn’t think she would survive. But she fought, and after three months of healing, she was starting to show signs of bouncing back. We’re not going to show pictures here, but you can click on this Good Housekeeping article to see the extent of this poor girl’s damage.
Sometimes we feel so close to our pups that we look at them as our babies and forget that they are a completely different species. What is often safe for humans may not be so for other animals. This post isn’t meant to tackle the debate about the act of dying an animal’s fur (I doubt they really care anyway), but to stress how important it is to look into something before trying it when it comes to the health of our fur babies. Always ask yourself, “Is this safe for my pup?” before using new products or trying new foods. Look up reviews, ask around, talk to your vet or groomer. Get as much info as you can to make an educated decision even when it seems like a trivial thing like fashion fur color.